As I type this Lowe Down, I'm chatting with Big Red via instant messenger. He and some of the COSIDA crew in Cleveland hit the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame. He brought up the fantastic U2 exhibit they current have there. As I told Red, being his roommate last year really gave me an increased appreciation for the band. He loves those guys and really it caused me to listen to them more so than before. So now I'm going to give you my Top-Five bands I'd like to see LIVE, but never have. These are in no particular order:
These guys have been at it for 20 years. Their music is incredible and timeless. With each new album, they have evolved into rock legends. They will easily be remembered as the best rock band of my lifetime. Aerosmith and the Stones don't count. They were around well before these guys. And not only is U2 advocates of great music, but also humanity. Have to respect their music and their stances on politics, even if you don't agree with them.
I don't think I truly became a James Taylor fan until freshman year of college. I was missing all my family and friends in NC, so over Christmas break I "borrowed" my mom's copy of JT's Greatest Hits. The song I continued to play the remained of my freshman year ... "Carolina on My Mind." That song still sticks with me to this day. Whenever I head back to Winston, rest assured that song is playing in my car or my office or at home. His live double disc is amazing. Thirty songs, all of which are classics. You can't beat that.
Do I really have to explain this one??? I mean, he's The Boss. I've loved his music since I was a child. From the radio hits, to the obscure tunes about middle class America. This man has been doing it since 1973. Unbelievable.
Billy Joel and Elton John
Ok, so this one kinda doesn't count. My parents took me to see Billy Joel when I was really young. I'm very fortunate for being there, but I don't remember a lot of it. Plus, he's been touring with Elton John recently. I have heard the show these two men put on is amazing. Piano music is wonderful as is, but you add in the powerful, yet sometimes poppy, lyrics of these two gentlemen and you've made for an amazing show.
Ok, so I did live in Athens, GA, for five years. REM started in Athens. Everyone there loved them. For five years, I swore I wasn't going to be a follower, so I never gave their music a shot. Even an eventual run-in with Michael Stipe at the Blue Sky coffee house didn't make me appreciate their music. It took me leaving Athens to really find what others had known all along. Theses guys are all very talented musicians. Even without intending to be at times, the music and lyrics are both very powerful. I'm proud to say I've since made a 2-disc set with all of the REM classics, with thanks to Brickhouse and Ms. Purks for helping pick out the best songs.
Sure, there are some new bands that I'd love to see live ... Cold Play, Massive Attack, Pete Yorn, Radiohead ... but I've had a love affair with the music of the Top Five for quite some time. If any of you out there have seen any of my Top Five live, please share your experience. I'm always willing to talk "shows" with anyone. There's that love for music coming out in me again.
Before I leave you tonight, I'd like to say a very special HELLO and CONGRATULATIONS to a wonderful Athenian, Joanna. She's put up with my shit for several years now, and has always remained a trusting and compassionate friend. Jo got married two weeks ago, and I can honestly say I'm jealous as HELL of Fred. If he wasn't such a great guy, I'd hate him. Oh well. I do wish them well in their new journey of love, life and marriage. I hope to see the newly weds sometime soon.
Enough rambling for the evening. Time for bed.